Parking woes at public hospitals

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Parking woes at public hospitals

Postby admin » Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:48 am

Parking at public hospitals is a nightmare but nothing much has been done to ease the worsening situation. StarMetro speaks to the public on the parking woes.

The parking problem at hospitals is not something new and has been highlighted many times, yet the situation has not improved much.

Vehicles are parked at available vacant spaces within a hospital compound, and there are internal traffic jams at some hospitals, while double parking and illegal parking are common.

The situation is the same at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, Putrajaya Hospital, Serdang Hospital, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Sg Buloh Hospital, Selayang Hospital and the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang.

Parking priority is usually given to hospital staff and there are not enough bays for patients and visitors.

David Nathan, 54, who visits Selayang Hospital for check-ups, would park by the roadside most of the time.

Although there are covered and open car parks at the hospital, this is still insufficient for visitors during peak hours.

Peak hours or not, the scenario at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital is often described as a nightmare by visitors.

A hospital employee, who wants to remain anonymous, said traffic at the hospital was bad as there was not enough parking for staff and the situation now was worsened by its current parking managament company.

“It was better with the previous parking management company but with the new one, traffic management is so bad that last week we were held up for an hour just to leave the compound,” she said, adding that the hospital had more than 8,000 employees and most worked during office hours.

Parking woes at UMMC is also never-ending, especially in the morning and the situation is bad despite having a multi-level car park.

Vehicles are often parked along Jalan Universiti because there are no parking bays available at the multi-level car park.

“Ultimately, this causes a jam on the road as cars take up one lane. Most people have no choice but to park along the road as they have medical appointments. So they park along the road or get their drivers to wait there,” said Zulkifli Mohd Ali, 47, who often brings his wheelchair-bound father Mohd Zain Mohd Yassin, 76, for check-ups.

He said he had no choice but to make a few rounds around the car park untill he found a parking space due to his father’s condition.

“The parking is also not disabled-friendly. Once parked, there is no space to place a wheelchair for the handicapped person,” he said.

According to a hospital employee, although the hospital has a drive-through counter for collecting medicine, it is only open from 9.30am to 11.30am on weekdays due to lack of staff.

There is also not enough parking space at the Putrajaya Hospital. With more than 1,000 employees and an average of 1,000 patients a day, the hospital has only about 500 parking lots.

There is a shuttle service from Putrajaya Sentral to the hospital.

Audra Lee, 36, who visits the hospital every two months for check-ups, said she had to get to the hospital before 8am to find a parking lot.

“Even then, it is difficult and most people just have to park far away and walk to the hospital. I am able but not every patient is well enough to walk a long distance,” she said.

Winnie Makulin, 35, whose job takes her to most hospitals in the Klang Valley, said parking at the older hospitals were bad probably due to failure to plan for the future, but sadly, even new ones faced the same problem.

She said the government should have learnt from the parking problems faced at the older hospitals.

“However, the situation is the same or worse in some of the newer hospitals in Putrajaya, Sg Buloh and Serdang.

“Patients and visitors have to park far away and walk to the hospital like in the case of the Serdang Hospital and Putrajaya Hospital,” said Makulin.

She added that every hospital should have a multi-storey car park to cater to employees and visitors.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said the government was well aware of parking problems at hospitals nationwide.

She said one of the ways to ease parking problems at hospitals was by providing valet parking services and that some hospitals were already practising it.

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Carparks not a priority in hospital funding, says ministry

Postby admin » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:08 am

THE Health Ministry is well aware of the limited number of parking lots at public hospitals. It attributed the problem to insufficient funding.

In response to the news “Parking woes at public hospitals” published on Feb 28 in StarMetro, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin denied the problem was caused by lack of planning.

She said hospital priorities were basic clinical needs such as medical gas, ICT cabling and X-ray rooms, while the ministry also looked into quarters and parking lots.

“Building a hospital is not like constructing a school hall or a house. The clinical needs of a hospital takes up a lot of funding,” she said in a statement issued on March 2.

Rosnah added that one factor contributing to the parking woes at public hospitals was the irresponsible attitude of the public who chose to park their cars in the hospital premises to get to work or go elsewhere.

However, she said the problem was now under control as the carparks were managed by parking management companies.

The ministry has also decided to offer multi-storey carparks at hospitals.

“The Planning and Building Division is looking into the matter,” said Rosnah.

She added that funds from the ministry be provided for medical facilities for the hospital while carpark matters should be arranged by a third party.

A reader, who identified himself as Adam, said although hospitals provide good service and treatment but without sufficient parking lots, it posed problems to both patients and visitors.

He said the practice of double-parking and releasing the car’s handbrake at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) is not practical at all because senior citizens and disabled people would not be unable to push heavy vehicles.

Adam said he often left his house at 6am and reached HKL 20 minutes later just to secure a parking spot.

“The parking area is full by 7.15am and the shuttle service to ferry visitors provided by the hospital lacked frequency and regularity,” he said.

As a temporary measure, Adam suggested all nearby parking areas (near the mosque and behind the Sports Club) be opened only to patients and visitors.

“Hospital staff can park in the areas near the Hindu temple and maternity hospital (facing former attendants’ quarters) and they can have special shuttle services to ferry them to the main building,” he said.

He added that the football field opposite the maternity hospital could also be converted into a temporary carpark, while a multi-storey carpark was considered as a long-term solution.

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